A couple of weeks ago, I took my son out to do a bit of pre-season mule deer scouting in unit 25. Since this area had huge burns in 2007, the deer might be hanging out in adjacent areas that were not burned.
When we got into the non-burned areas, there was some deer sign (and a lot of bear) but not nearly as much as I thought we might find. When we eventually dropped down into the burn area, I found fresh sign all over the place. It had rained the evening before and the tracks we found were all fresh. I'm assuming they were in there for the fresh new grass and shrub growth. But I was really, really suprised to find them there.
So my question is this - when the snow flies, how likely is it that these animals will stick around? Is it common for the animals to move back to their old stomping grounds and not travel in and out for cover and feed? The burn area is huge (Cascade complex), so it would be one hell of a daily trek, even for these animals.